Okay friends. The time has come…
FOR WEDDING SHOW SEASON!!! I get really excited when wedding vendors come together to show off their work and I hope that you do too! Wedding shows can be an amazing resource but they can also be overwhelming if you’re not prepared.
Ah, the feeling of good ‘ol overwhelm.
Perhaps you are newly engaged and have no clue where to start? Or maybe you’ve already started planning your wedding, but now you feel lost and/or totally overwhelmed? I mean… there’s so much information and so many things to do!
I totally get it. The feeling of total and complete overwhelm is real people. This post is for you if you want to prepare yourself for wedding shows and make it a SUPER AWESOME experience but are currently frozen with a major case of the overwhelm. Hang in there- we will tackle this beast together.
First, let me just say that this list on how to attend wedding shows like a boss might be a tad overwhelming in and of itself. DON’T PANIC. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Relax those gorgeous shoulders.
Okay, so now that you’re a bit more relaxed, it’s time to read through this lovely list! Woo hoo! Ready to conquer overwhelm and attend wedding shows like a boss? Here’s a list of things you should do!
Before Attending The Show
Invite Family & Friends
Trust me when I tell you this is not the time to bring your entire entourage. You need someone or a small, but close group of people (2-3) to spot deals, snag pamphlets and samples and help you stick to your goals. This is supposed to be a fun experience so bring those who are willing to help and those who will help make the day fun.
Know Your Specific Needs
While they may seem to have the same attraction to some as window shopping, attending wedding shows to just look is a disaster waiting to happen! It’s super important to have a list of which types of vendors you’re looking for and even have a budget range in mind for each vendor to weed out the ones who aren’t within your reach.
Do Your Research
This is one of the most important things you need to do before attending a wedding show. Some of these shows are massive and there are just too many to visit all in one day so make a list beforehand of the vendors you want to see and read a bit about them.
Your research will help you prepare questions you will want to ask the vendors. Don’t leave the wedding show feeling exhausted and feeling like you didn’t get the info you needed. Draw up some questions for the vendors on your list so you’re guaranteed to get all the info you need.
Create Address Labels
As you visit the different tables, vendors are going to request your basic contact information in order for them to contact you after the show and for you to enter giveaways. Save yourself a lot of time by pre-printing labels with your name, wedding date (if you haven’t chosen a date yet, put TBD), and email address. Use these to stick to slips at vendor booths to save you time and to avoid the awful hand cramp.
Bring A Tote Bag & Binder
When it comes to anything to do with weddings, organization is key. Put together a wedding binder with tabs for photography, invitations, venues, catering, etc. This gives you a place to put all the brochures and pamphlets you’ll receive. Not sure where to start with a wedding binder? Don’t worry I got you. Click on over here to find a step-by-step guide on how to easily create your own wedding binder.
Set Up A Wedding Only Email
Trust me when I say setting up a wedding only email will be huge! Here’s the deal. Just because you enter to win a door prize from a vendor doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re interested in any further contact with them. Going through hundreds of emails a day and having to sort out what’s important and what isn’t is a huge time suck and is just NOT fun. Create a special email just for your wedding eliminates the clutter from your regular inbox and helps to keep you organized.
During The Show
Since you’ll have a small group of friends or family with you, have one of them take notes as you chat with vendors. You’ll most likely talk to so many vendors that information will be difficult to remember afterwards if notes aren’t taken.
There are going to be vendors for everything at a wedding show. Stay focused so that you don’t waste time on vendors that don’t fit your wedding vision.
Bridal shows can be absolutely exhausting. But they are supposed to be fun too. Sit down and take breaks often so you can recoup and move forward.
Don’t Waste Time
To me, there’s nothing worse than wasting your own and others’s time. Time is so precious! I guarantee that you’ll be bombarded with vendors interested in hearing your wedding plans and after a while, the repetition will become tiring. Rather than nicely smiling and explaining your plans, you’re going to be tempted to nicely smile and look away or simply ignore the individual and keep walking. But here’s the thing…the vendors feel the same way! As much as you don’t want to waste their time, neither do they.
So…. Instead of ignoring the person who tries to stop you by posing a question or offering information, simply say, “thank you but I’m not interested” if that’s how you actually feel. I’m all about not wasting anyone’s time and doing it in a polite way.
Same goes for cards or information packages. Only take materials from vendors you legitimately are interested in and will call… after the wedding show! Not only will it save you time and emotional energy, but it’s less frustrating when you’re later sorting through your take-home pamphlets. You can still be polite without being a push over!
After The Show
Check Your Email
If you signed up for giveaways, make sure to check your email – you may have won! It’d be a shame to lose your prize by waiting too long to claim it!
After sorting through your very detailed and organized notes from the event, decide which vendors you want to contact. Write a little introductory email and make appointments! Don’t forget to always give yourself options. You may love the cake at one bakery, but what you want may end up being out of your price range. Keep an open mind about vendors so you can have something to fall back on if one vendor ends up not working out.
DON’T FORGET IT: PIN IT!
What other steps are you taking or have taken to prep for wedding shows? What was your experience at a show like? Add to the conversation below!